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100 Heirloom Tomatoes for the American Garden by Carolyn J. Male

After all that I’d heard of about this book, and how I understand Dr. Male is simply revered in the tomato-grower’s world, I had high expectations for this book. I was disappointed.

The growing information is fine, but the variety information leaves a lot to be desired. There isn’t any history of the varieties at all. If you come across a tomato named “Stump of the World” wouldn’t you be curious as to how it came to be called that? Who developed it? And why? You won’t find tidbits like that here. Quite frankly, it’s like reading a seed catalog.┬áIn that respect, 100 varieties isn’t enough. Seed catalogs have tons more seeds available than that. I think there are over 1000 kinds of heirloom tomatoes now.

And the photographs! If Dr. Male was truly working on this book for years, then why did they only photograph the tomatoes during a year with late rains that caused almost all of the fruits to crack? And then not take new pictures the next year? But instead allow them to be published even when they aren’t representative of the normal fruit specimens?

Makes me wonder…

P.S. The size of this book is very odd too. It is quite narrow.

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